Owns 'FoodLit'. Highly qualified, established food & lifestyle writer, former restaurateur, founder professional writing business, Articul8. Long, diverse writing history, passion for food culture, the land & inspired food language.www.foodlit.com.au
Published January 4th 2010
I think picnics are under-rated. They're free, fun and a fabulous way to unwind and enjoy our great outdoors. One of my favourite spots, just 50 or so kilometres from Melbourne in the Yarra Valley, is Badger Creek Weir.
By the time you get comfy in the car, you're pretty much there amidst nature's fabulous ferns, towering Mountain Ash trees, clean fresh air, and a babbling brook (well, it's technically a creek, but it does babble).
Badger Creek is just 7 kilometres from another of my favourite spots, Healesville. Head through town (with an obligatory stop at the fabulous food store and café, Healesville Harvest and neighbouring culinary enticements).
Once loaded up with goodies and revived with a very good coffee, turn right at the signs pointing to Healesville Sanctuary. Badger Creek is just down the road from there and the roads are very well-signed.
Stretch out the picnic rug and relax for a bit while gazing up at the sky through a canopy of leaves, then head off on any number of walking tracks. Don't worry, they're short, with the longest to the Badger Creek Weir via Slip Creek Track only 1.4 kilometres. The rainforest walk through ancient fern gullies is simply stunning!
Bring along some play equipment for the kids (and yourself perhaps). There's plenty of room for playing frisbee, a spot of cricket or kicking a footy around. You might also want to bring a change of clothes for the kids, who will no doubt scramble up and down the creek, fall in (it's very shallow) and get very wet. What fun!
By the way, there's no need to bring loose change if opting for a barbecue. There are some very cool wood-fired barbecues, complete with handy pre-chopped wood for your convenience!
There's also a spectacular array of birds to enjoy, like parrots and rosellas. You might even be lucky enough to spot a lyrebird. Please do NOT feed them though. They're not designed to eat even our store-bought seeds, let alone our left-over picnic. Just watch all those less-aware people feed them …
Look out too for wombats. Wombats were often called badgers and due to the prolific numbers of them in the area, the creek was named Badger Creek.
After a day of food, frolicking and play, shake out the rug, toss everything and everyone in the car. The kids might even sleep after a good dose of fresh air - and you get to relax all the way home. Happy picnicking!